Monthly Archives: October 2012

All Hallow’s Eve; A Sonnet of reclamation

I am reposting from Malcolm Guite’s blog which I follow thanks to David Taylor. Click here to visit.

All Hallow’s Eve; A Sonnet of reclamation  

The dark is bright with quiet lives and steady lights undimmed


Even here in England, where the tradition is less strong, Hallowe’en seems to be creeping up on Christmas in the crass comercialism stakes! Halloween itself simply means the eve of all Hallows, and All Hallows is the Christian feast of All Souls, the day we remember all the souls who have gone before us into the light of Heaven. It is followed immediately on November 2nd by All Saints Day a day when we think particularly of those souls in bliss who, even in this life, kindled a light for us, or to speak more exactly, reflected for us and to us, the already-kindled light of Christ! It is good that we should have a season of the year for remembrance and a time when we feel that the veil between time and eternity is thin and we can sense that greater and wider communion of saints to which we belong. It is also good and right that the Church settled this feast on a time in the turning of the year when the pre-Christian Celtic religions were accustomed to think of and make offerings for the dead. But it was right that, though they kept the day, they changed the custom. The greatest and only offering, to redeem both the living and the dead, has been made by Christ and if we want to celebrate our loving connections we need only now make gifts to the living, as we do in offering sweets to the ‘trick or treaters’ in this season, and far more profoundly in exchanging gifts at Christmas.

Anyway given that both these seasons of hospitality and exchange have been so wrenched from their first purpose in order to sell tinsel and sweeties, I thought I might redress the balance a little and reclaim this season with a sonnet for All Souls/All Saints that remembers the light that shines in darkness, who first kindled it, and how we can all reflect it.

I am posting this sonnet now as some churches who keep the feast a little earlier, on this coming Sunday, the 28th, may wish to make use of sonnet. Do feel free to print the words or use the recording.

The image which follows this poem, and takes up one of its key lines, is byMargot Krebs Neale. As always you can hear the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button if it appears, or on the title.

All these sonnets are being published together this December by Canterbury Press in a book called Sounding the Seasons, which will be launched at St. Edward’s Church Cambridge on December 5th at 7:30pm.


All Saints

Though Satan breaks our dark glass into shards

Each shard still shines with Christ’s reflected light,

It glances from the eyes, kindles the words

Of all his unknown saints. The dark is bright

With quiet lives and steady lights undimmed,

The witness of the ones we shunned and shamed.

Plain in our sight and far beyond our seeing

He weaves them with us in the web of being

They stand beside us even as we grieve,

The lone and left behind whom no one claimed,

Unnumbered multitudes, he lifts above

The shadow of the gibbet and the grave,

To triumph where all saints are known and named;

The gathered glories of His wounded love.

‘Each shard still shines’ image by Margot Krebs Neale


About malcolm guite

Malcolm Guite is a poet and singer-songwriter living in Cambridge. He is a priest, chaplain, teacher and author of various essays and articles and a book about contemporary Christianity. He also plays in Cambridge rock band Mystery Train, and lectures widely in England and USA on poetry and theology.


Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Church Calendar, Discipleship, Fellowship, Prayer, Saints

All Saints Church Prayer Vigil – THIS WEEKEND

THIS WEEKNED from 8:30 a.m. on Saturday through 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, please join our church family in praying for the unity and mission of our church, our rector search process, the individual that the Spirit is leading to be our rector, and other needs of our church family. Sign up for one or more half-hour shifts. You can pray wherever you are, but the sanctuary will be open and available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 20 for those who wish to pray there. Please sign up at the information table or online here. Contact Liz Harbaugh with questions.

How should we pray?

We have put together a prayer guide to unite our hearts and minds in prayer for our Church. Please consider signing up with the above link or simply using this prayer guide to pray for our church this weekend.

 All Saints Church Prayer Vigil

October 20-21, 2012

Some Scriptures and Specific Prayer Requests to Consider


Please use the requests and scriptures below to guide your prayers, or pray as God leads. Above all, let’s unite our hearts together in humble, penitent, prayer, asking God to work His will, in His way, for His glory through All Saints Church in this season of transition and expectation.

Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

Luke 6:12-15 In these days [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot.

Romans 8:26   In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

Pray that we would be rightly humbled and open before God.

2 Chronicles 7:14  If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Psalm 62:1-2  For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.

Psalm 46:10  Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Matthew 6:9-16 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

This, then, is how you should pray:
” ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

1 John 5:14-15  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

Pray that God’s name will lifted up and that he will be honored and glorified among us.

Philippians 2:10-11  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Isaiah 57:15  For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Psalm 115: 1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Timothy 1:17  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!

My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob.

Look upon our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.

Revelation 21:1-4, 22-25  Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” …I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.

Revelation 4:11 You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.

Revelation 5:12 In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

We pray for unity and love among the All Saints Church Family.

Prayers for those who suffer or are in any trouble:

Jan Burks in the loss of her mother; Robin Dawson’s stepmother; Carrie Waffa’s sister, Cammie; Andrew Stillwell’s father; Denise Stillwell: For these and all who suffer, Lord Christ, we seek your mercies. Hold back those things which threaten to overwhelm them and protect them from the grip of despair. Heal their bodies and deliver them from all oppression, for the afflicted shall see and be glad, and those who cast their eyes upon you shall behold their salvation.

We pray for Steve Breedlove as he will be consecrated to the office of bishop in less than two weeks.  Prayer that God would meet him, affirm him and equip him with the gifts and graces needed to lead and serve His church.

We pray for Bishop Terrell Glenn and Teresa while they are on vacation. We pray for rest and rejuvenation and the blessing of their 25 years of marriage.

We pray for our 242 group leaders  that they would have the gifts and passion to lead well, to shepherd the people in their groups and to deepen that the discipleship of all Saints Church.  We pray for new 242 group leaders and for new groups that are just starting that the Holy Spirit would knit them together relationally and draw them into deep relationships.

We pray for our after school program Eagles Nest.  Especially for the director Laura Yost-Grande as she leads this important ministry.

Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

1 Peter 1:22-23  Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

Psalm 133  Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!  It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.

Ephesians 4:1-5   I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:11-16  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

1 Peter 1:22-25  Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;  for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

1 Peter 4:8-11   Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another, without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ….

Pray that, through the power and blessing of the Holy Spirit, we will remain faithful to our essential commitments as a Church and our mission to become and make disciples of Jesus.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

John 4:23-24 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

John 13:34-35  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Matthew 28:18-20  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Micah 6:8  He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Pray for the Ministry Staff.

Pray that the Ministry Staff will individually and collectively rest in God’s peace in the midst of ongoing responsibilities and uncertainty. 

Pray for continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the staff and clergy as they lead, make decisions, discern, equip and care for the church. 

Pray for the protection of our staff and clergy as well as their families. May they lead lives deeply rooted in Christ and may their homes be an image of your kingdom.  

1 Timothy 1:5  The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 5:1-2  Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Pray for the Search Team and the Vestry.

  • Pray that the Search Team and Vestry will be faithful to their responsibilities and obedient to God’s call. Pray that they will listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit as they engage with candidates at this stage in the rector search.
  • Pray for patience – that every decision made will be in tune with God’s timing.
  • Pray that they will have the mind of Christ
  • Pray for wisdom and that their minds will be renewed in Scripture
  • Pray for discipline and stamina
  • Pray for unity

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Zechariah 4:6  So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”

Philippians 2:1-4  So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Pray that God will prepare us as a congregation for whomever He brings and that we will all grow in faith and trust in an ever present, all sufficient, loving God.

  • That as our congregation prepares for inevitable change we can say and mean it, “For all that has been, thanks; For all that will be, Yes!”
  • That we will remain united now and during the time of transition

Hebrews 13:20-21 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.

Romans 12:1-9  Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Pray for the next Rector of All Saints.

  • Pray that God would increase his passion for preaching the Word of God – that he will preach the Word in season and out of season, reproving, rebuking and exhorting with complete patience
  • Pray that he will equip the saints to do the work of ministry, building up the body of Christ at All Saints into unity and maturity.
  • Pray that when he comes to All Saints he will not shrink from declaring anything that is profitable, nor from proclaiming the whole counsel of God to our congregation
  • Pray that he would make decisions through earnest pray, godly counsel, and Scripture.
  • Pray for his relationship with the Ministry Staff, Vestry, and Ministry Leaders.
  • Pray that he will be confident and enthusiastic in his calling to shepherd All Saints
  • Pray that God would give him a love for All Saints Church and the strength to leave his current position.
  • Pray that the next Rector will begin relationships at All Saints Church in a God-honoring way.
  • Pray that our next Rector and his family will be sustained the midst of their call and transition.
  • That the next Rector will know his call to ASC and that the certainty of his call will be fueled by the persuasive and enabling power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 4:1-2 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Colossians 1:28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 5:1-4  So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:  shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;  not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Lord, we thank you for your guidance, for teaching us, for leading us, for providing for us.  We thank You for the opportunity to show others Your abiding light, Your infinite goodness, Your unlimited patience.  May all your creation rest easy this day and night, in the love and knowledge that peace and tranquility are Your blessings and they are all loved by You.  Uplift our hearts and fill us with love so we may shine out and draw others towards the way of truth and light.  In Jesus Name we pray.  Amen.

Leave a comment

Filed under Community, Discipleship, Fellowship, Prayer, Services and Special Events, The Holy Spirit

“What I Do With My Week”

(Following is the first in a series of posts from All-Saints attenders about how their faith connects with their vocations. Our first post comes from Sarah Council who is finishing up her PhD studies as a micro-biology researcher. If you are interested in writing a 500 word or less post about faith and work please email me at

Walk through the doors of my building and you immediately notice the smell of old animal cages. Up to the 8th floor, walk into my lab and you’re met with a -80 freezer, 37 degree shakers and a well-kept black table top bench, full of clear chemicals, petri plates and pipettes. The thing you notice first though is the smell, a slight hint of fruity sweetness (and that’s putting it nicely).  Yes, I’m a graduate student doing my dissertation in a microbiology lab.

I study something so specific that in most cases my spiel leaves you a little in shock but very intrigued.  I work on a particular oral bacterium that lives on your tongue and in the space in between your teeth.  I’m interested in particular about how it survives and grows in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis (more on CF here:, looking precisely at nutrient acquisition and how the body reacts to the bacterium (ie: inflammation and such).   My fundamental drive through graduate school has been to help people through the study bacterial pathogenesis.

Back to my lab: Every week we have lab meeting that lasts two to three hours.  In it, everyone talks about what experiments they’ve done in the past week and the time serves has a small brainstorming session if experiments don’t go as planned.  ‘Not going as planned’ happens a lot. We come across unexplained growth of a mutant bacterium, baffling bands on a blot, and eventually our well thought out hypotheses are just that, only hypotheses. Most of the time, they are not entirely correct or wrong which pushes us to ask more questions about why certain things happen.

This is the beauty of science, God’s science.  There is something awe inspiring about having absolutely no clue how something works. You go back to the basics, once piece at a time.  Eventually through dozens and dozens and hundreds of experiments you have some idea how this thing/protein/DNA transcript/cell/tumor/bacterium/organ works. But it’s only in your simple system, with your exact reagents and with your special touch. How humbling is that?

Take a step back and marvel at the complexity that is you. Individual cells working in unison to make up organs which have a specific role in sustaining your life.  You are God’s workmanship, created in His image. The body and all that is in it is so beautifully complex.

Through my time in graduate school I have been always blessed to be able to study God’s Creation. Beautiful, complex and in all of it, I see God and His role in life.

Sarah Council

UNC Ph.D. candidate

Leave a comment

Filed under Community, Uncategorized

Join the Prayer Vigil!

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.” ~ Oswald Chambers 

Dear Church,

I want to encourage you to sign up for the prayer vigil that is less than two weeks away. CLICK HERE  to sign up for a prayer shift or two. At this transition in the life of our church body it is essential that we lift our eyes to the author and perfecter of our faith and be in prayer together.

The search committee has been working diligently over these past four months, but they have a deep rooted conviction that they need the Holy Spirit’s direction and work in this process. One scripture that they have been holding onto thrughout this whole process comes from Psalm 127: Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

We desire this prayer vigil to be a time that is set apart where we seek the Lord’s direction, protection, provision, and covering for our church family.

Will you participate in this essential gathering of prayer?

Here are the prayer vigil details again:

From 8:30 a.m. on October 20 through 8:30 a.m. on October 21, please join our church family in praying for the unity and mission of our church, our rector search process, the individual that the Spirit is leading to be our rector, and other needs of our church family. Sign up for one or more half-hour shifts. You can pray wherever you are, but the sanctuary will be open and available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 20 for those who wish to pray there. Please sign up at the information table or online here. Contact Liz Harbaugh with questions 

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen. 

May the peace of Jesus be with you,

thomas kortus

Link to Prayer Vigil Sign-up


Leave a comment

Filed under Community, In the News, Prayer, The Holy Spirit, Uncategorized